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For decades poor and marginalized people were viewed as the target of poverty reduction efforts rather than stakeholders or contributors to the development agenda. Development experts saw themselves as the sole owners of development wisdom and having all the answers to the problems which faced the poor. Hence they dominated rather than facilitated decision making disregarding and undervaluing the local knowledge and capacity of the local communities to effect positive and sustainable development in their locales.


The predecessors of the SSDF faced challenges but also learnt from these past experiences recognizing that development initiatives which ignore the input and contribution of all stakeholders, particularly, the final beneficiary, usually do not result in beneficiary buy-in and project sustainability. Too often the projects undertaken in communities were vandalized and destroyed while others became nothing more than white elephants. In its efforts to increase the level of beneficiary buy-in and to make projects more relevant to the needs of the communities and in that way ensure project sustainability the SSDF has mainstreamed the participatory and community driven development approaches in its community development initiatives.


Community Driven Development (CDD) is an approach which responds to the needs of individuals and communities rather than imposes development initiatives on these communities. Hence instead of viewing communities and individuals as merely the recipients of aid, this approach treats poor people and their institutions as assets and partners in the search for sustainable solutions to development challenges.


Participatory Development is probably the most utilized term in present development jargon and is an approach which the SSDF utilizes in the delivery of its development interventions. Participation, or participatory development utlilises the local knowledge and expertise which exist in a community and engages beneficiaries and stakeholders in all stages of the project cycle through community meetings and consultations. Through those consultations the views and input of all stakeholders are elicited and included in the preparation and implementation of projects. SSDF is committed to the use of this approach as it increases beneficiary buy-in and enhances project sustainability, two factors that are crucial for successful project implementation.


This is done via the use of the Poverty Index. The Poverty Index is constructed from socio-economic data captured in the latest national Census (2001). It is indicative of the level of deprivation of communities (measured by access to services such as water and electricity supply) and the living conditions of households within these communities (income and expenditure data, as well as the size of households).

Yes, through either the housing and educational assistance programs.

Yes, the SSDF proposal must address the needs of low income groups or communities subsequent to qualifying for any such assistance.

The sponsors are the financial organizations such as The Caribbean Development Bank (CDB), The Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), The European Union (EU) , and The Government of St.Lucia (GOSL) who fund SSDF's various project initiatives.

All proposals are numerically numbered so reference would be made to that project number for an update. A project status can be checked on by visiting, calling or emailing SSDF, or via the SSDF website

No, SSDF does not loan money.

There is no limit to the number of projects offered to a community however; SSDF will normally execute one project per community at a time.

A proposal would be rejected by SSDF if they were to qualify as:


  • Micro credit or loans
  • Projects which involve tobacco, alcohol, other drugs or intoxicants
  • Purchase of vehicles
  • Purchase of land
  • Direct expenditure (including renovation, rehabilitation or repair work) on private property arising from the project
  • Construction of first and secondary category roads
  • Assistance for the furtherance of religious or political ends
  • A proposal in excess of $250,000.00
  • Proposal not approved by the majority in community
  • Project not sustainable.


Unit 10 Colony House
John Compton Highway
Saint Lucia
West Indies




P.O. Box Choc 8180
Castries LC 02 801
Saint Lucia
West Indies 






(758) 452-6161


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Division of Human Services

  • Mental Health Association
  • Ministry of Health, Urban Renewal & Local Government
  • National Council for Persons with Disabilities
  • National Council of & for Older persons
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  • National Skills Development Unit
  • National Youth Council
  • St.Lucy’s Home
  • St.Lucia Blind Welfare Association
  • St.Lucia Diabetic & Hypertensive Association
  • St.Lucia Nurses Association
  • St.Lucia Planned Parenthood Association
  • Senior Citizens Home